The unabridged, downloadable audiobook of Ian Kershaw's The End is a searing account of the last days of the Nazi regime and the downfall of a nation. Read by David Timson.
The last months of the Second World War were a nightmarish time to be alive. Unimaginable levels of violence destroyed entire cities. Millions died or were dispossessed. By all kinds of criteria it was the end: the end of the Third Reich and its terrible empire but also, increasingly, it seemed to be the end of European civilization itself. In his gripping, revelatory new book Ian Kershaw describes these final months, from the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler in July 1944 to the German surrender in May 1945. The major question that Kershaw attempts to answer is: what made Germany keep on fighting? In almost every major war there has come a point where defeat has loomed for one side and its rulers have cut a deal with the victors, if only in an attempt to save their own skins. In Hitler's Germany, nothing of this kind happened: In the end the regime had to be stamped out town by town with a level of brutality almost without precedent.
Both a highly original piece of research and a gripping narrative, The End makes vivid an era which still deeply scars Europe. It raises the most profound questions about the nature of the Second World War, about the Third Reich and about how ordinary people behave in extreme circumstances.
©2011 Ian Kershaw (P)2012 Penguin Books Ltd
"Well-written, penetrating...and ground-breaking." (Andrew Roberts, Evening Standard)
"No one is better qualified to tell this grim story than Kershaw.... A master of both the vast scholarly literature on Nazism and the extraordinary range of its published and unpublished record, Kershaw combines vivid accounts of particular human experiences with wise reflections on big interpretive and moral issues.... No one has written a better account of the human dimensions of Nazi Germany's end." (New York Times Book Review)
"A compelling account of the bloody and deluded last days of the Third Reich...this is far from being of mere academic interest.... The greatest strength of Kershaw's narrative is that he gives us much more than the view from the top.... Interwoven are insights into German life and death at all levels of society." (The Times)
An excellant over-view, without the jingoism which seems to attach to so much German history as related by Brits. It happened and cannot be changed but the clarity of the why & how is frightenigly explained in a lesson to the wider world & to be hoped, we will learn something for mankind from it.
Well written,listenable & sensitive as I would expect from Prof Kershaw.
"Detailed but superfluous account"
There are so many books on the Second World War that this tragic period has been extensively documented. Kershaw tries to distinguished his books from the others by just concentrating on the Germany side of the story, and giving only brief accounts of the fighting. The key revelation for me was how the July bomb plot allowed the Nazi regime to destroy any opposition, and allowed them to take Germany to their nihilistic end. What the author does is concentrates on how the war affected the population, and how propaganda was used to make people believe there was no alternative to fighting till the end. For most people they adopted a passive stoicism, and try to keep a normal life going. I like the story of the high government official that wrote about the need to change monitory policy in the last months of the war. While there is obviously new research in this book I don't think it adds much to what we already know about the end of the war. I was a bloody mess, and the Nazi elite were callous brutes.
Very interesting and informative. The pace is very well thought out and it keeps you interested. I really enjoyed this.
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